You’ve probably already made a list of New Year’s resolutions covering everything from health and fitness to personal growth, but have you made any resolutions for your house? It’s a good idea to spell out the things you want to accomplish for your home in 2021 – literally. Here are 7 New Year’s Resolutions for homeowners to help you get those plans for your humble abode off the ground.
N – New/Clean Flooring
Social distancing rules may have limited the number of guests tromping through your house this holiday season, but the mud, salt, and mess that comes with winter weather haven’t done your floors any favors. Start the New Year with fresh floors by either deep cleaning or replacing carpets.
Weigh the pros and cons of keeping your current flooring versus installing new carpet or laminate floors. This update makes cleaning easy and will increase your home’s value in the new year.
E – Evict Vermin
When you put your decorations back in the attic, take the time to do a quick inspection to make sure there’s no vermin creating a home in your walls or insulation.
Cold weather can drive wild animals indoors, which can lead to unseen damages if left unattended. Better to catch the culprits before they chew through walls or wires. Don’t just stop at the attic either. Inspect crawl spaces, garages, and basements for freeloading animals and insects. If you find any critters in your crawl space, an experienced exterminator can remove them safely and responsibly.
W – Weatherize Windows and Doors
While you may not be going out as much this year, chances are the heat in your house is escaping. Up to 25% of heat loss in your home is because of air leakage through poorly insulated windows and doors. There are many ways to draft-proof your house that can range from replacing old and outdated windows to swapping out loose curtains for snug-fitting coverings, as well as using weather stripping around exterior doors.
Y – Yard Drainage Inspection
Many people dream of a white Christmas, but that can quickly turn into a soggy spring. Before that happens, take the time to inspect your yard and make sure it’s draining properly. Failing to figure out where the water will go when the snow melts or after a heavy rain could create moisture or more in ground-level spaces or basements. This can result in costly damages to flooring, furniture, or foundations, depending on how deep it floods. Sometimes the solution is as simple as adding a French Drain; other times, it might require a more intricate drainage system. No matter what, it’s best to discover runoff problems before the rain starts instead of when the water levels are rising.
E – Evaluate Energy Efficiency
The best way to save money in the New Year is to ensure your home is as energy-efficient as possible. Don’t just shut the lights off when you leave the room; replace them with LED bulbs, and use smart power strips wherever you can. Simply raising the temperature in your fridge to approximately 35-38°F and lowering your hot water heater to 120°F can save you more than $250 annually. Larger projects like upgrading to solar energy, furnace modifications, new insulation, and heat pumps will result in larger savings. We offer mortgage programs that can help you upgrade sooner rather than later.
A – Air Ducts and Dryer Vents
You probably remember to change your air filters every three months, but when was the last time you had your air ducts or dryer vents cleaned? Air ducts can trap dust particles and potentially develop mold. While the studies are limited on the benefits of air duct cleaning because there are so many varying factors in people’s homes, it’s highly recommended that if you opt for air duct cleaning, you choose a reputable professional to do the job.
With the rise of COVID -19, many homeowners are opting on the side of safety and planning for someone to clean their ducts and have ultraviolet air duct purifiers installed. On the other hand, dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year to prevent clogging and fire. Unlike air duct, it’s ok to DIY your dryer vent cleaning using either a vacuum cleaner or a leaf blower.
R – Roof and Chimney Check
Since Santa’s been stomping around on your roof and slipping up and down your chimney, it’s a good time to give both a quick once over before a small problem becomes a large one. Start with a visual inspection of your roof safely from the ground to ensure there are no missing shingles or damage to the flashing. Follow up with an interior inspection by looking for damp spots in the attic or on the ceiling after it rains or snows.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys should be inspected once a year, preferably before use for the season. Signs of trouble to keep an eye out for include: smoke filling the house, oily spots on the walls, or a campfire like odor.
Resolving to keep up with these seven suggestions in the New Year can save your bank account and your sanity. While you can complete most of the tasks independently, larger repairs and upgrades may require a specialist. Some repairs may also require a little more money out of pocket, or you can use some of the equity you already have in your house. Our team of experts at OVM can help guide you in the right direction. Give us a call or start your application online to get started.